by Joshua Thomas
Trucks have been designed to make hauling equipment and other kinds of luggage much easier. But, because they have an open bed design, keeping your gear secure when you leave the truck unattended will always be a constant concern.
However, with the best truck bed cover, you do not have to always think about the safety of your gear and equipment every time you leave the vehicle unattended.
Truck bed covers or tonneau as they are also referred to as increase a truck's versatility, and they will provide weather protection, increased security and also increased gas mileage. Also, most will improve the truck's aesthetic appeal and style.
In this guide we explain how to choose the right truck bed cover for your vehicle and also review 10 top-rated truck bed covers.
1. MaxMate TCD371011 (Best Overall)
2. Tyger Auto TG-BC3C1006 (Best Folding)
3. Tyger Auto TG-BC3F1041 (Best for Ford Trucks)
4. Tyger Auto TG-BC1D9014 (Best Roll-Up)
5. Truxedo 246901 (Sleek & Secure)
6. Gator Covers 53205 (For Maximum Protection from the Elements)
7. Bestop 16212-01 (Easiest Tonneau to Fold & Adjust)
This MaxMate tri-fold tonneau is the best-rated truck bed cover on our review, and so provided you have a compatible truck, you can be confident that it will serve you well.
The most impressive element about it is how fast it is to install. Because it comes fully assembled, the installation should only take a few minutes and you will not need to do any drilling.
Its pre-assembled horizontal crossbars are designed to provide adequate support and will also fold up with the tonneau to provide full truck bed access.
For the materials, the cover is made with heavy-duty aluminum frame and marine grade vinyl to ensure that it will last for a long time.
And to make this an even better tonneau, it comes in a sleek and stylish overall style to ensure it looks amazing on your vehicle.
Storing this top rated truck bed cover when not in use can be little cumbersome but given its top notch quality and perfect fit this should not be the deal breaker.
With this tri-fold tonneau on your GMC Sierra 1500 or Chevy Silverado, you get fuel savings of up to 12% which is quite impressive given the ever increasing fuel prices.
Like many other truck bed covers from Tyger Auto, it comes fully assembled to make installation a breeze. And with the pre-assembled horizontal crossbars, you can be confident of great support, and they will also fold easily with the cover to provide full access to the truck bed.
This cover is made from dual-coated marine grade vinyl and with an aluminum frame and stainless steel clamps for maximum durability.
The installation will not require any drilling, and the cover can also work with under-the-bedrail style bed liners without having to do any modifications. And it is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
While the overall fit is still not perfect, this truck bed cover should still fit tightly enough to ensure no water seeps in and to keep your luggage safe.
Given the quality of the materials, ease of installation and relatively affordable price tag, this is the best truck bed cover for the money on our list.
The materials used to make it are the dual-coated marine grade vinyl, heavy-duty aluminum frame, and some stainless steel clamps. These materials make assembly easy and are also highly durable.
The fact that this tonneau will come fully assembled also makes installation easier, and it also comes in a sleek design that will provide some decent fuel saving.
Also, the cover is designed to fold quickly and easily to provide access to the full truck bed or make it possible to load up oversized luggage fast.
This truck bed cover is made for the Ford F-150 truck, and it will work from 2005 to 2018 models.
The size and design of this truck bed cover limits its compatibility but if you driver a Ford truck this is still a perfect choice.
The aluminum powder coated side rails and clamps combine with the marine grade vinyl top to make this a tough, highly durable and hence one of the best tonneau covers for Ram 1500 out there.
It is the cheapest item on our review, and so you will not only get something high-quality but also at a great price tag.
With the built-in horizontal crossbars, you can be confident that your truck bed cover will be adequately supported when lying flat. Also, these crossbars ensure full bed access as they will roll up with the rest of the tonneau.
This truck bed cover will seal with Velcro strips on the sides, and also has a latch lock system to help keep it more secure. And you can be confident of getting a tight and wrinkle-free fit thanks to the adjustable tension system.
Although the mounting instructions are not very clear, Installation is still straightforward and fast as you will not need to do any drilling, and you also get all the necessary hardware.
For the truck owners that are on the market for a tonneau that offers the service of a high-end model but still within the price range of typical snap-on types, this is what you need to buy.
It is designed to work for most Ram 1500 models and with leather-grained fabric for maximum protection from the elements and durability.
This truck bed cover uses a single person usable dual latch system to allow for a fast roll up and still maintain enough security.
The sleek and smooth look will improve the overall appearance of your truck, and because the cover is about 1-1/2 inches above the bed rails, you will get some nice and aerodynamic contours that will provide gas savings of up to 10%.
Installation is also fast and easy as you will not need any special tool or have to cut and drill anything. And the industrial strength Velcro will attach the cover to the rails to ensure it remains tight and wrinkle-free.
While this truck bed would have been better if it were a little longer, it will still fit most truck well enough and securely.
You can almost never go wrong with any tonneau cover made from double-coated vinyl as it is one the toughest and longest lasting options. And so the fact that it is what is used on this particular one from Gator Covers is a good indication that it will serve you well.
The cover is designed to offer maximum protection from the elements and it will also look fantastic on your truck.
Also, it includes crossbars that are designed to reach side to side on the truck's bed to provide that extra strength that you need when dealing with snow or rain.
When this truck bed cover is rolled up completely, it will allow for access to the entire bed. And because it comes with drill-free clamps, installation should be fast and easy.
This truck bed cover could be more watertight, but unless you are driving under very heavy rain or do not secure it tight enough, you will hardly ever have to worry about getting water in your truck bed.
Besto 16212 uses a premium leather-grained vinyl material in the manufacture of this truck bed cover. This material is not only highly durable but is also designed to stay flexible even in cold weather.
The tonneau uses low-profile hinges and rail design which work with the reinforced corner construction to ensure maximum stability.
With the sectional aluminum frame on this truck bed cover, you can be confident of getting great support, and it also helps to maintain a smooth appearance
There are integrated buckle straps that make it possible to secure the cover at the truck bed's front rail when folded or remove it for full bed access.
The ease of installation also helps to make this the best tri-fold tonneau cover on our list. You will not need any special tools to install it or have to drill your truck and you can have the cover on in as little as 5 minutes.
This truck bed cover might not fit classic body styles but it is still one of the best truck bed covers for Silverado for anyone with 2007 to 2013 models.
As you start shopping for a truck bed cover to help improve the safety of your gear, the first things should always be to understand the different types and what they have to offer.
Although there are numerous styles of truck bed covers, you can classify most of them under the following 4 broad types.
The folding truck bed covers are designed to allow for access to the truck bed one section at a go. With these covers, you do not have to expose the entire truck bed when you need to take something out as you can uncover them in increments.
When fully folded, these covers will allow you to access the entire truck bed. Also, folding covers are typically easier to operate by one person than most other types.
These covers are available in both soft and hard styles and they are made from a wide variety of materials depending on the manufacturer.
With a roll-up tonneau, you gain access to your truck's bed by rolling up the cover and out of the way to expose the truck bed.
Many of these styles of covers will use snaps or hooks and loops to hold them in place, but there are a few that are secured through a channel along the side rails on the truck bed.
One of the best features of roll-up covers is that they will offer virtually full access to the entire truck bed once you roll them up completely. And they are also available in both hard and soft types.
As the name suggests, the retractable tonneau works by retracting into and from a container at the front section of the truck bed.
The operating principle of the retractable covers is quite straightforward. The cover is mounted on a sliding rail, and you have to move it back and forth using an automatic or manual mechanism.
Most retractable truck bed covers are made by placing aluminum slats in sequence next to each other. And besides the durability that comes with the aluminum construction, these types of truck bed cover also allows you to customize the amount of truck bed to uncover.
And depending on the size of your truck bed and the number of parts on the particular retractable cover that you buy, it can take one or a few hours to install.
When compared to the three other types above, the rack-integrated covers are the priciest option. However, they are also often the most secure of all the types.
The rack-integrated covers are made with tough materials like metal and with a hard folding cover for extra reinforcement. The extra reinforcement is meant to make them better for carrying bulkier and irregularly shaped cargo.
If you carry irregularly shaped luggage often this is also the best tonneau for you. However, these types of truck bed cover often take the longest time to install as you need to install the rails first before installing the cover.
Buying Advice: The best truck bed cover for you from the 4 main types above will depend on your budget, preferences and the type of goods you want to secure or will be carrying often.
If you want something highly affordable for protection from the elements or just covering your luggage, the soft versions of the roll-up and fold-up covers will be a good buy.
However, if you are looking for something fancier and highly secure and also willing to spend more money, the retractable and rack-integrated covers are your best choice.
Now that you know the most common types of truck bed covers, it should be easier for you to find the perfect one for your vehicle.
But you still need to pick between the various brands and models in the market. And to ensure you make the right choice you should keep the following important points in mind when shopping.
The choice between soft and hard truck bed covers will mostly depend on what you will be carrying in your truck. If it is just regular things that you do not intend to leave in your car unattended, a soft truck bed cover should be enough.
But, if you will be using your truck to ferry important and expensive tools or equipment and other valuable luggage then a hard truck bed cover is the right pick as it is more secure.
Also, consider your budget because the soft covers are generally more affordable and some can cost half or even less of what you would pay for the hard truck covers.
While it is true that different manufacturers will often use different materials to make their truck bed covers, there are still some popular materials that most use.
These materials are vinyl which is mostly used for soft truck bed cover and aluminum that is a popular hard truck bed cover material.
You can also get some soft covers made from canvas, but when it comes to the material, the most important thing is to ensure that whatever you choose is weather resistant and highly durable.
Generally, the roll-up and folding truck bed covers are the easiest to install thanks to their relatively simple design.
The retractable and rack-integrated truck bed covers, on the other hand, will take more time and effort to install but you should not have trouble doing it provided you follow the instructions.
But, it is important to note that the ease of installation can also vary from one brand to the other. And this is because some manufacturers will provide some detailed and easy to follow installation instructions to make the process straightforward.
It is hard to overlook price when buying anything, and truck bed covers are not an exception. Ideally, you should go for something that is within your budget.
Soft covers are the cheapest, and they will be a great pick for anyone shopping on a tight budget. But if you want the hard truck bed cover at a budget, the hard folding covers are your most affordable option.
Retractable, hard roll-up and the rack-integrated tonneaus tend to be pricier because of the technology that they use.
Your truck might be your most useful tool when it comes to hauling things from one point to the other, but the open bed design means that it will not offer any protection from the elements or thieves. And so you need to invest in a truck bed cover to help with this.
By understanding the different types available in the market and considering things like the material, ease of installation and price you should be able to get the best truck bedd cover for your truck.
And you can be confident that there is at least on cover on our review above will work perfectly for your truck.
About Joshua Thomas
Joshua Thomas just simply loves cars and willing to work on them whenever there's chance... sometimes for free.
He started CarCareTotal back in 2017 from the advices of total strangers who witnessed his amazing skills in car repairs here and there.
His goal with this creation is to help car owners better learn how to maintain and repair their cars; as such, the site would cover alot of areas: troubleshooting, product recommendations, tips & tricks.
Joshua received Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University.